Cheap flights to Riga are available from Gatwick and Stansted airports near London. Some flights to Riga may also depart from other regional airports around the UK. Flights to Riga will arrive at Riga International Airport. The number 22 bus service offers connections from the airport to Riga city centre. Tickets can be purchased from the bus driver or from the tourist information desk in the airport. Airport Express minibuses also offer services from the airport to Reval Hotel in Riga city centre. Buses depart from the bus stop opposite the terminal building. Taxis can be hired outside the terminal building for journeys into Riga city centre. Negotiate on a price before setting off.
Rigas Satiksme operates an efficient network of trams, buses and trolleybuses serving the city and surrounding suburbs. Check the website for more information regarding timetables and maps. Single tickets are available from the driver, but are slightly more expensive than pre-purchased tickets. Tickets can be purchased from ticket vending machines, public transport terminals, Latvia Post kiosks and customer service centres. A variety of tickets are available, ranging from single tickets to daily, weekly and monthly tickets. Save money with the Riga Card - this allows free entry into selected attractions as well as free travel on all forms of public transport. Metred taxis are readily available throughout the city.
With the advent of cheap flights to the city, Riga has fast become a favoured city break destination for visitors from the UK. Start by exploring the Old Town, a pedestrianised district with more than its fair share of interesting, historic architecture. The town square is ringed by St. Peter’s Church, St. John’s Church, the Museum of Blackheads, Porcelain Museum and the Sun Museum. The last one is an unusual institution with all exhibits and displays dedicated to representations of the Sun. Have a peek at the House of the Black Cat, so-named for the two statues of black cats on its roof. The impressive Riga Cathedral is also located within the Old Town. It is recognisable by its dramatic black clock tower, but the cathedral’s real attraction is the magnificent pipe organ within. Venture outside the Old Town to see the Freedom Monument and Laima Clock nearby. Stroll along Alberta Iela or Elizabetes Iela for a look at the distinctive Art Noveau architecture.
Riga’s citizens converge on the cavernous Central Market for meat, seafood, fresh food and vegetables. There are also assorted stalls selling inexpensive clothes and accessories as well as souvenirs such as amber jewellery. The Cili Pica chain offers a choice of pizza and pasta dishes at fairly low prices. Those with a bigger budget may prefer to enjoy a meal at Vincents, regarded by many as one of the city’s top restaurants. The menu features traditional dishes with a modern touch such as Wagyu and avocado carpaccio, and confit of suckling pig. Dance it off to Russian and European pop music at Godvil, where the clothes are tight and the drinks are expensive. For a more relaxing night, head to the Skyline Bar for cocktails and great views of the city.
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